The Appreciation Effect

– Posted in: Psychology, Wellbeing

I just read a Facebook Comment, by Karen Daniels, in which she discussed the “appreciation effect”. She describes how appreciation can turbo-charge the child’s self esteem, confidence and performance at school. My first thought was that that appreciation often becomes a two way connection that can really deepen the quality of a relationship.

In my experience to get to appreciate a person, I first have to accept them, and I cannot have that acceptance if I am being judgmental.

For me judgement sometimes comes with an unpleasant, anxious, feeling.

For instance, in the past if I were to hear what I considered to be ‘poor’ grammar it would trigger barely tangible memories of being shouted at as a child. Someone once said to me “But you wasn’t here.”

I was so startled by the use of “wasn’t” (rather than “weren’t”) that I completely lost the thread of the conversation. I was so surprised that I have described it as almost being like a slap in the face. I can still vividly remember the occasion 26 years later (OK, so maybe I was sheltered and naive?!).
Due to past memories I had an emotional reaction that had nothing to do with the circumstances of the moment but had everything to do with my experience of the changes in my body chemistry that my memories recreated.

My own thinking got in my way at that moment. So the sooner I realise that my thoughts create my feelings, the sooner I can notice the thought, let it go, slow down my thinking and get present to the moment.

Appreciating the moment and experiencing it, without past memories, enables a clarity of mind that would not be available to me if I paid too much attention to my own thinking. Letting go of my thinking creates the space I need to appreciate.

To read Karen’s thoughts on ‘Appreciation’ please see: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/notes/karen-daniels/appreciation/250776488280514

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